DBE/MBE Preferences: Timeless, Timely, or Out of Time?


Join Scott Livingston, as the moderator for the panel of legal experts.

American Bar Association Conference
April 12th
Baltimore, MD

Thirty years have passed since the Supreme Court’s landmark minority set-aside program decision in Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469 (1989), and it appears that a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court may  disfavor so called "social programs", the rubric under which affirmative action historically has fallen. What is the landscape state and local governments and contractors are operating under today?

  • Are DBE/MBE preferences timeless; that is, forever as long as there are lingering effects of past discrimination?

  • Are they timely; that is, needed now to make sure DBE/MBE’s are treated the same (i.e. not worse than) as non-DBE/MBE subs.

  • Or, given the passage of time and the new Supreme Court Justices, are these preferences out-of-time?

This presentation will address DBE/MBE preferences, how they came to be, where they are today, where they may be going, and offer ideas for representing governmental clients and contractors.